Once upon a time, what feels like a billion years ago, I was friends with this guy D. He worked with some neat people, and one day he invited me to a Saturday brunch with some of these people. They were lovely, pleasant folks, and I connected with a few of them on Facebook afterward.
One of them I've seen a few times since - he came to my birthday celebration, I went to his, I've done some cat-sitting for him; another I haven't seen at all since our meeting; and the third I believe I saw once more, at some kind of company event of theirs - but I'm not actually sure, because I was ridiculously drunk at this particular event. I'm still embarrassed remembering it.
Then one day earlier this year, the third girl invited pretty much every single person she knew on Facebook to her 30th birthday party. It looked like a pretty fun event and I'd get to dress up all cute. I had nothing else going on that night and I figured I might meet some cute guys, even though as we all probably remember, shortly after this year began I basically gave up on dating because fuck that noise. I just kind of wanted to dress up and go flirting. Off I went, said hello to the birthday girl, and then found myself sitting with another girl about my age and a few guys, making small talk.
After a while, I got bored (small talk and I do not get along) and stood off to the side. The other girl in the group and I began chatting and somehow got on the topic of dating. I, of course, rolled my eyes and grumbled about how dating in this city is REALLY fucking difficult and how I have decided not to do it anymore. She agreed enthusiastically (about the difficult part, not the "fuck this" part), and we bonded. By the end of the night I'd introduced her to a ridiculously tall fellow and I had a somewhat shorter guy talking with me, but we kept reconnecting with one another, and before she left she promised to find me on Facebook. She did, and then I did a very un-me-like thing and sent her a message suggesting we meet for lunch some day during the week. A few lunches and nights out later, I'm happy to say I feel like we're pretty good friends and I'm well on my way to feeling like I can really trust her. She's the one who was with me the night I found the coconut.
Well, that very same night, we'd gone to a burlesque show, and she'd invited a handful of her coworkers. One of these coworkers was a guy who I thought was pretty cute, but I wasn't looking for anything. I didn't really take the opportunity to chat him up, even though we talked a bit at happy hour and he went with me to buy everyone's show tickets. At the end of the night, the rest of the group went off to keep drinking and dancing, while Rosie and I went our own way. I didn't give it or him another thought. I was just that done with the idea of dating at all.
Almost 2 weeks later, I got an email about a "meetup" event at a bar downtown. It involved wearing white t-shirts and drawing on strangers with markers. I was tired and had spent my workday looking forward to going home, but at the very last minute, I decided to grab a coworkerfriend (that's not a typo) who needed some cheering up and go to this thing. It was pretty fun, and I talked to loads of people. At some point, I ran into the cute guy who works with Rosie. We recognized one another, but couldn't quite recall names, so we re-introduced ourselves, and then introduced our friends. Everyone drew on everyone else's shirts, and we went our separate ways.
This was a pretty small bar with a lot of people, and I discovered standing in one spot invited the creepies to come try to hit on me, so I was moving a lot. I really just wanted to draw on people. I kept running into this guy (and I'm going to call him Cowboy, because he's a down-home country boy) and his friend, and we'd talk a little. After I'd had a couple of drinks, I pointed out that he had a couple of girls' phone numbers on his shirt, so I jokingly added mine and told him it was the only important one. Later still, when an employee of the bar started trying to herd people to the back to the dance floor, I'd had just enough rum to make that seem like a great idea (I don't dance), so I grabbed coworkerfriend, Cowboy, and his friend and dragged them all to the completely empty dance floor. There was some imitation of dancing - coworkerfriend and I did the moonwalk (he much more convincingly than I) - and it was fun, and ridiculous, and I loved that Cowboy and his friend were going along with the whole thing. Eventually I simply decided I was done for the night, so coworkerfriend and I abruptly said goodbye and left (that's pretty much how I work when I drink - one minute I'm having fun, the next I want to be home and I want to be there RIGHT NOW).
At some point that night, I texted Rosie saying, "I think I have a crush on your coworker Cowboy!" but the next day I laughed about it. Later, I told her how I'd given him my number but I was pretty sure I'd never hear from him because he seemed WAY too nice to want to date a crass girl like me. I figured that was that.
Over a week after the t-shirt event, I did actually get a text from Cowboy, asking me if I'd like to go to an event in my neighborhood with him. I'd already planned to meet Rosie there, and she was bringing a guy she was seeing, so I told him he should meet us there and how he was saving me from being a third wheel. Honestly I still wasn't totally sure it was a date.
Six hours later, I knew for sure that it was.
And now, it's been 3 weeks, and we've seen each other several times each week, including a day trip that amounted to about 13 hours together. For me, this is considerable, even though I understand that to most people it's probably nothing. I'm not sick of him... I'm not annoyed by him... we've had fun dates out and fun dates in, and I've even taken care of him when he's sick. He's called me beautiful. I've beat him at several video games (and he's beat me at a few). Neither of us is dating anyone else (although we're not using those *friend words yet). I sang the chorus of "goober peas" in front of him and he didn't run away. I'm pretty sure he's an actual, genuine nice guy (with just enough dickishness to keep it interesting) and I'm pretty sure he actually likes me. So far, this is just really... what's that word? The one other people get to use when they date? GOOD. It's good.
Internet, please cross fingers, toes, eyes for me. Burn incense. Chant. Think good thoughts. Whatever it is you do to send positive mumbo-jumbo to people who need it, please do that for me. I'm doing my very best not to fuck this up, but let's be fair - it is me we're talking about, so I need all the help I can get!